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‘Pandemic Pods’ are the new trend for learning options

Families forming their own learning groups for interaction with limited exposure

Pandemic Pods, it’s all over the internet with dozens of social media groups created connecting families with instructors.

Some parents say they like the idea of 'Pandemic Pods' and micro-schools because they have more control over who their kids come in contact with on a daily basis.

So what is a Pandemic Pod?

Think of it as a self-created class, instead of sending your kids to school, they learn in small groups with the support of a tutor or instructor. Some parents are hosting pods on their homes or using community or outdoor spaces.

“It’s this really broad encompassing term. It could be something as simple as someone stepping in to tutor a child who’s doing virtual school, or creating a whole school of students. It could be different levels in a classroom or non-classroom,” said Monica Williams.

Williams is an Orlando mother of 8-year-old Zoe. During the pandemic, she's been working remotely to stay safe, so she didn't want to send her daughter back to school.

"We are doing virtual school, but it's the social component that we're missing," said Williams.

She says by forming a pod, her daughter will get the social interaction and support that brick-and-mortar schools offer, without being exposed to hundreds of students in a traditional school.

"It is about belief systems. 'Are you open to this? Do you offer the same level of care that we do for safety?' You have to find like-minded individuals first, then look for teachers," said Williams.

Williams has vetted instructors and found a teacher that is also a close friend of hers, to support the students in her pod. She hopes by educating parents on this learning opportunity, she will connect with more families who are willing to be a part of her pod and split the cost.

"I realize this is a luxury. Not everyone can work from home and afford this, but it's pretty reasonable," said Williams.

Gov. Ron DeSantis brought up the idea of learning pods during a press conference Wednesday, saying low-income families may not have the option to be a part of a pod.

“Some low-income parents may not have the same luxuries in terms of the options for what they can do if the school system is not offering in-person instruction. We here these different things about parents creating their own learning pods. That is really going to be dependent on financial wherewithal and what income bracket they’re in,” said DeSantis.

Williams said during this time, many teachers and tutors are offering fair and reduced pricing to help families.

The Facebook group ‘Pandemic Pods has several threads with families looking to connect with instructors to create learning pods across the country.


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